Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

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The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God written by Zora Neale Hurston follows the journey of the central character Janie Crawford. Janie spends her time in southern Florida trying to find her voice and true love. During this process, she finds herself in two marriages with men that greatly differ from each other. These two men go by the names of Joe Starks and Vergile “Tea Cake” Woods. They both have very different impacts on Janie’s path to achieve her life goals.

After Janie has a failed marriage to her very first husband Logan kellicks, she meets a man by the name of Joe Starks. Joe is a man with many ambitions and is very hard working. These two aspects of him easily impress Janie, and she marries him soon after. Janie marries him because she wants out of her life with Logan, and Joe seems to be just what she is looking for. Joe is very good at using his way of talking to get others interested in him, and Janie likes what he says to her in the beginning of their relationship. “A pretty doll-baby lak you is made to sit on de front porch and rock and fan yo’self” (29). Janie thinks that her life with Joe will be easy and she can relax. For awhile it is; Joe allows her to become quite wealthy, but soon Janie realizes another aspect of Joe that does not help her at all. Joe is very controlling of Janie and does not let her do anything for herself. For example, he forces her to tie back her hair. “What make her keep her hair tied up like some ole’woman round de store?” (49).This really spoils their marriage because it does not allow Janie to express herself, which hinders her from her journey of finding her voice.

Janie’s next marriage is to that of Vergile Woods, who prefers to go by the nickname of Tea Cake. Tea Cake is a very kind hearted person and treats Janie like an equal to everyone else. This is the kind of man Janie has been looking for her entire life. Tea Cake sees her just like everyone else, and thinks she should be able to do the same things...
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